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New VR Haptics Research Could Lead To Thinner Glove Controllers

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Promising new VR haptics research may eventually lead to thinner, consumer-ready glove controllers.

The research, carried out by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) uses ‘soft active surfaces’ filled with oil to create a sense of touch when picking up objects and interacting with items in VR. Check it out in the video below.

As you can see, the approach uses electrical impulses to manipulate a small amount of dielectric fluid (in this case, vegetable oil) housed in pockets made up of a stretchable membrane. When activated with a voltage, the oil compresses together to create bumps that will press against the user’s fingers. Imagine picking an object up in VR, for example, and the surface pushing into your fingers as you grasped it. The oil can even be vibrated, which may provide deeper immersion when, say, blocking an attack with a shield.

Right now, EPFL researchers have created bumps between three to 20 millimeters in size with up to 25 devices aligned together. However, the group hopes to take its work further with a design integrated into a haptic glove that covers the entire hand.

Obviously, having not tried the tech for ourselves, we can’t speak to the quality of the haptic sensations this approach might provide. Would bumps be able to cover a wide enough surface area to create a truly convincing, consistent haptic sensation, for example?

That said, the miniaturization of haptic VR gloves is one of the key areas holding them back from consumerization right now. Companies like HaptX have impressive devices for enterprise use, but they cost far too much and are way too bulky to use with headsets like Oculus Quest. EPFL’s work is early, but could provide a path to thinner VR gloves that we could finally take home.

What do you make of this new VR haptics research? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: https://uploadvr.com/vr-haptics-research-thin-gloves/

AR/VR

From Environmental to Social: XR Tackles Global Issues

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As part of the VRFocus Awards – the largest ever survey on the VR/AR market -, VRDays Europe has been chosen to be the ambassador of one of the categories: ‘Global Impact Award’. Even more this year, VRDays tackles the future of XR and how immersive tech shapes the world of tomorrow.

VRDays Europe 2020

VRFocus introduces the ‘Better-Than-Reality Awards’

Have you always wanted to bring a VR/AR experience to light? VRFocus is giving you the opportunity to speak out! The virtual reality specialist website created the VRFocus Awards, the largest ever survey on the VR/AR market. “No judges, no committees, no bullsh*t”. Users have got the power. 

Best game, most promising startups, top influencer, favourite hardware… Altogether, 6 awards will be delivered. VRFocus asks its readers to vote for the best XR content of the year 2020. No industry professionals will be selected for the final vote. It’s up to us! VRFocus has listed nominations, but also offers the possibility to fill in an open entry section. This is the time to promote new projects and companies.

VRDays Europe – ambassador of Global Impact Award

In order to help promote the awards, VRFocus has chosen a selection of industry ambassadors for each category, encouraging “their VR fans to make their voices heard”. VRDays is one of the lucky ones! The XR international event from Amsterdam is the official ambassador of the Global Impact Award. 

For six years now, VRDays has been about: Business, Science and Art. But this year is special, and VRDays wants to make a difference. For its 6th edition, VRDays is exploring new horizons and taking up emerging challenges. This year, VRDays is about how immersive technologies are shaping the world of tomorrow. How can they help build a better future?

From environmental to social, XR tackles global issues the society is facing today. More and more, immersive technologies are used for sensibilization. Showing the past, present and future as a way to open people’s minds and find solutions to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of our world. XR is a powerful tool to tell meaningful stories.

VRDays Europe

Shaping the world of tomorrow

This year, more than ever, VRDays Europe wants to show how much immersive technology can make a difference. From November 4th to 6th, visionary XR experts will discuss how virtual reality has an important impact today and is becoming a valuable tool to build new perspectives for our future. Together, let’s explore new horizons – at the most immersive event of 2020.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/from-environmental-to-social-xr-tackles-global-issues/

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AR/VR

New Japanese PlayStation VR Bundles to Include Camera Adaptor for PlayStation 5

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Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE) next-gen console, the PlayStation 5 is due to launch in a month and while most details have been released including a recent teardown, one piece of information is still missing; how to get the PlayStation Camera Adapter. Unless you’re in Japan, with a couple of new bundles confirmed to include the device.

PlayStation 5

Over on the Japanese PlayStation Blog the site has announced two new PlayStation VR bundles which will go on sale from next Thursday, 29th October 2020. A ‘Variety Pack’ will offer the headset, PlayStation Camera, PlayStation Move controllers and four videogames (Astro Bot Rescue Mission, PlayStation VR Worlds, Everybody’s Golf VR and Ryan Marks Revenge Mission).

The other is an entry-level bundle with the headset, camera and PlayStation VR Worlds. Crucially, customers who buy either of these deals will be given the PlayStation Camera Adapter free at the time of purchase. Even if they don’t buy these particular bundles, customers buying a PlayStation VR after the 29th October will still be given the adapter free of charge.

However, SIE has yet to confirm how current owners either in Japan or the West go about applying for the free adapter. With the weeks quickly ticking away the chance of playing VR on the new hardware on launch day could be in doubt.

PlayStation VR third anniversary

Why all the fuss about the adapter? Well, it’s down to two reasons. Firstly, PlayStation 5 doesn’t have the correct port for the older camera and rather oddly, the new HD Camera doesn’t support PlayStation VR. So without said adapter, it’s impossible to switch your VR gaming to the new console. Luckily, when you have it most VR titles are supported by PlayStation 5, only two aren’t – Crytek’s Robinson: The Journey and DWVR by Mad Triangles.

When details regarding how to get the PlayStation Camera Adapter are released, VRFocus will let you know.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/new-japanese-playstation-vr-bundles-to-include-camera-adaptor-for-playstation-5/

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AR/VR

Qualcomm’s XR Enterprise Program Doubles Membership, Includes Holoride, OssoVR & Talespin

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Qualcomm has been heavily invested in the XR industry since the early days, creating platforms like Snapdragon XR2 as well as its XR Enterprise Program (XEP) initiative last year. Today, the company has revealed that membership for the programme has doubled in the last twelve months, with over 30 new members joining.

Talespin
Image credit: Talespin

Qualcomm XEP is designed to help accelerate the adoption of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) technology by bringing together various solution providers from industries including architecture, aerospace, automotive, entertainment, food & beverage, healthcare, pharmaceutical, transportation, travel and many more.

Inaugural members included collaboration platform Spatial, education specialist VictoryXR and VRtuoso which helps businesses create immersive presentations. Joining this roster is SpringboardVR a software distribution platform for location-based entertainment (LBE), holoride which is putting VR entertainment into cars, surgical training platform Osso VR and workplace training solution company Talespin.

“We are all in on our commitment to driving the XR industry forward on a global scale, while simultaneously advancing XR technology for the enterprise,” said Brian Vogelsang, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of
what our Qualcomm XEP members have accomplished in the first year and are confident this collection of innovators will be a key component in meeting the increased demands in enterprise for collaboration and remote work, skills training, education and learning, data visualization, and health and wellness solutions.”

Osso VR - headset
Image credit: Osso VR

“holoride is extremely proud to have entered the Qualcomm XEP, as Qualcomm Technologies is a critical player in understanding what is necessary to ensure holoride readiness for both headsets and vehicles,” said Marcus Kuehne, CXO and co-founder of holoride. “Most consumers feel as though their time in the car is currently wasted. Our mission is to
change that with XR technology that provides passengers a way to be entertained, to learn and to even be more productive while getting from A to B.

New members of Qualcomm XEP:

  • Accenture
  • AppliedVR
  • Atheer
  • CoLearn VR
  • DataMesh
  • DengXian VR
  • Dyadmed
  • Exxar
  • Flow Immersive
  • Healium
  • Holoride
  • HypnoVR
  • Imaginate Technologies
  • ImmersiveRehab
  • Incontext Solutions
  • Jingteng Tech
  • Joinpad
  • Masters Of Pie
  • Maxst
  • MotusXR
  • OssoVR
  • PTC
  • Rescape ME
  • SIM8
  • Springboard VR
  • Talespin
  • UltimateCare
  • Virti
  • Virtuleap
  • VR Education Holdings / Engage
  • Xpllore

Expect lots more Qualcomm announcements in the months to come as more devices using the Snapdragon XR2 5G platform are unveiled. When those occur, VRFocus will let you know.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/qualcomms-xr-enterprise-program-doubles-membership-includes-holoride-ossovr-talespin/

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